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Title 33 Part 161

Title 33 → Chapter I → Subchapter P → Part 161

Electronic Code of Federal Regulations e-CFR

Title 33 Part 161

e-CFR data is current as of October 16, 2019

Title 33Chapter ISubchapter P → Part 161


Title 33: Navigation and Navigable Waters


PART 161—VESSEL TRAFFIC MANAGEMENT


Contents

Subpart A—Vessel Traffic Services

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General Rules

§161.1   Purpose and Intent.

(a) The purpose of this part is to promulgate regulations implementing and enforcing certain sections of the Ports and Waterways Safety Act (PWSA) setting up a national system of Vessel Traffic Services that will enhance navigation, vessel safety, and marine environmental protection, and promote safe vessel movement by reducing the potential for collisions, rammings, and groundings, and the loss of lives and property associated with these incidents within VTS areas established hereunder.

(b) Vessel Traffic Services provide the mariner with information related to the safe navigation of a waterway. This information, coupled with the mariner's compliance with the provisions set forth in this part, enhances the safe routing of vessels through congested waterways or waterways of particular hazard. Under certain circumstances, a VTS may issue directions to control the movement of vessels in order to minimize the risk of collision between vessels, or damage to property or the environment.

(c) The owner, operator, charterer, master, or person directing the movement of a vessel remains at all times responsible for the manner in which the vessel is operated and maneuvered, and is responsible for the safe navigation of the vessel under all circumstances. Compliance with these rules or with a direction of the VTS is at all times contingent upon the exigencies of safe navigation.

(d) Nothing in this part is intended to relieve any vessel, owner, operator, charterer, master, or person directing the movement of a vessel from the consequences of any neglect to comply with this part or any other applicable law or regulation (e.g., the International Regulations for Prevention of Collisions at Sea, 1972 (72 COLREGS) or the Inland Navigation Rules) or of the neglect of any precaution which may be required by the ordinary practice of seamen, or by the special circumstances of the case.

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§161.2   Definitions.

For the purposes of this part:

Center means a Vessel Traffic Center or Vessel Movement Center.

Cooperative Vessel Traffic Services (CVTS) means the system of vessel traffic management established and jointly operated by the United States and Canada within adjoining waters. In addition, CVTS facilitates traffic movement and anchorages, avoids jurisdictional disputes, and renders assistance in emergencies in adjoining United States and Canadian waters.

Hazardous Vessel Operating Condition means any condition related to a vessel's ability to safely navigate or maneuver, and includes, but is not limited to:

(1) The absence or malfunction of vessel operating equipment, such as propulsion machinery, steering gear, radar system, gyrocompass, depth sounding device, automatic radar plotting aid (ARPA), radiotelephone, Automatic Identification System equipment, navigational lighting, sound signaling devices or similar equipment.

(2) Any condition on board the vessel likely to impair navigation, such as lack of current nautical charts and publications, personnel shortage, or similar condition.

(3) Vessel characteristics that affect or restrict maneuverability, such as cargo or tow arrangement, trim, loaded condition, underkeel or overhead clearance, speed capabilities, power availability, or similar characteristics, which may affect the positive control or safe handling of the vessel or the tow.

Navigable waters means all navigable waters of the United States including the territorial sea of the United States, extending to 12 nautical miles from United States baselines, as described in Presidential Proclamation No. 5928 of December 27, 1988.

Precautionary Area means a routing measure comprising an area within defined limits where vessels must navigate with particular caution and within which the direction of traffic may be recommended.

Towing Vessel means any commercial vessel engaged in towing another vessel astern, alongside, or by pushing ahead.

Published means available in a widely-distributed and publicly available medium (e.g., VTS User's Manual, ferry schedule, Notice to Mariners).

Vessel Movement Center (VMC) means the shore-based facility that operates the vessel tracking system for a Vessel Movement Reporting System (VMRS) area or zone within such an area. The VMC does not necessarily have the capability or qualified personnel to interact with marine traffic, nor does it necessarily respond to traffic situations developing in the area, as does a Vessel Traffic Service (VTS).

Vessel Movement Reporting System (VMRS) means a mandatory reporting system used to monitor and track vessel movements. This is accomplished by a vessel providing information under established procedures as set forth in this part in the areas defined in Table 161.12(c) (VTS and VMRS Centers, Call Signs/MMSI, Designated Frequencies, and Monitoring Areas).

Vessel Movement Reporting System (VMRS) User means a vessel, or an owner, operator, charterer, Master, or person directing the movement of a vessel that is required to participate in a VMRS.

Vessel Traffic Center (VTC) means the shore-based facility that operates the vessel traffic service for the Vessel Traffic Service area or zone within such an area.

Vessel Traffic Services (VTS) means a service implemented by the United States Coast Guard designed to improve the safety and efficiency of vessel traffic and to protect the environment. The VTS has the capability to interact with marine traffic and respond to traffic situations developing in the VTS area.

Vessel Traffic Service Area or VTS Area means the geographical area encompassing a specific VTS area of service. This area of service may be subdivided into zones for the purpose of allocating responsibility to individual Vessel Traffic Centers or to identify different operating requirements.

Note: Although regulatory jurisdiction is limited to the navigable waters of the United States, certain vessels will be encouraged or may be required, as a condition of port entry, to report beyond this area to facilitate traffic management within the VTS area.

VTS Special Area means a waterway within a VTS area in which special operating requirements apply.

VTS User means a vessel or an owner, operator, charterer, Master, or person directing the movement of a vessel within a VTS Area that is:

(1) Subject to the Vessel Bridge-to-Bridge Radiotelephone Act;

(2) Required to participate in a VMRS; or

(3) Equipped with a required Coast Guard type-approved Automatic Identification System (AIS).

VTS User's Manual means the manual established and distributed by the VTS to provide the mariner with a description of the services offered and rules in force for that VTS. Additionally, the manual may include chartlets showing the area and zone boundaries, general navigational information about the area, and procedures, radio frequencies, reporting provisions and other information which may assist the mariner while in the VTS area.

[CGD 90-020, 59 FR 36324, July 15, 1994, as amended by CGE 97-023, 62 FR 33364, June 19, 1997; USCG-2003-14757, 68 FR 39364, July 1, 2003; USCG-1998-4399, 75 FR 66314, Oct. 28, 2010; USCG-2005-21869, 80 FR 5334, Jan. 30, 2015; 80 FR 17327, Apr. 1, 2015; USCG-2018-0874, 84 FR 30880, June 28, 2019]

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§161.3   Applicability.

The provisions of this subpart shall apply to each VTS User and may also apply to any vessel while underway or at anchor on the navigable waters of the United States within a VTS area, to the extent the VTS considers necessary.

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§161.4   Requirement to carry the rules.

Each VTS User shall carry on board and maintain for ready reference a copy of these rules.

Note 1 to §161.4: These rules are contained in the applicable U.S. Coast Pilot, the VTS User's Manual which may be obtained by contacting the appropriate VTS or downloaded from the Coast Guard Navigation Center website (https://www.navcen.uscg.gov).

[CGD 90-020, 59 FR 36324, July 15, 1994, as amended by USCG-2018-0874, 84 FR 30880, June 28, 2019]

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§161.5   Deviations from the rules.

(a) Requests to deviate from any provision in this part, either for an extended period of time or if anticipated before the start of a transit, must be submitted in writing to the appropriate District Commander. Upon receipt of the written request, the District Commander may authorize a deviation if it is determined that such a deviation provides a level of safety equivalent to that provided by the required measure or is a maneuver considered necessary for safe navigation under the circumstances. An application for an authorized deviation must state the need and fully describe the proposed alternative to the required measure.

(b) Requests to deviate from any provision in this part due to circumstances that develop during a transit or immediately preceding a transit may be made to the appropriate VTC. Requests to deviate must be made as far in advance as practicable. Upon receipt of the request, the VTC may authorize a deviation if it is determined that, based on vessel handling characteristics, traffic density, radar contacts, environmental conditions and other relevant information, such a deviation provides a level of safety equivalent to that provided by the required measure or is a maneuver considered necessary for safe navigation under the circumstances.

[CGD 90-020, 59 FR 36324, July 15, 1994, as amended by USCG-2005-21531, 70 FR 36350, June 23, 2005; USCG-2005-21869, 80 FR 5334, Jan. 30, 2015; USCG-2018-0874, 84 FR 30880, June 28, 2019]

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§161.6   Preemption.

The regulations in this part have preemptive impact over State laws or regulations on the same subject matter. The Coast Guard has determined, after considering the factors developed by the Supreme Court in U.S. v. Locke, 529 U.S. 89 (2000), that by enacting Chapter 25 of the Ports and Waterways Safety Act (33 U.S.C. 1221 et seq.), Congress intended that Coast Guard regulations preempt State laws or regulations regarding vessel traffic services in United States ports and waterways.

[USCG-1998-4399, 75 FR 66314, Oct. 28, 2010]

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Services, VTS Measures, and Operating Requirements

§161.10   Services.

To enhance navigation and vessel safety, and to protect the marine environment, a VTS may issue advisories, or respond to vessel requests for information, on reported conditions within the VTS area, such as:

(a) Hazardous conditions or circumstances;

(b) Vessel congestion;

(c) Traffic density;

(d) Environmental conditions;

(e) Aids to navigation status;

(f) Anticipated vessel encounters;

(g) Another vessel's name, type, position, hazardous vessel operating conditions, if applicable, and intended navigation movements, as reported;

(h) Temporary measures in effect;

(i) A description of local harbor operations and conditions, such as ferry routes, dredging, and so forth;

(j) Anchorage availability; or

(k) Other information or special circumstances.

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§161.11   VTS measures.

(a) A VTS may issue measures or directions to enhance navigation and vessel safety and to protect the marine environment, such as, but not limited to:

(1) Designating temporary reporting points and procedures;

(2) Imposing vessel operating requirements; or

(3) Establishing vessel traffic routing schemes.

(b) During conditions of vessel congestion, restricted visibility, adverse weather, or other hazardous circumstances, a VTS may control, supervise, or otherwise manage traffic, by specifying times of entry, movement, or departure to, from, or within a VTS area.

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§161.12   Vessel operating requirements.

(a) Subject to the exigencies of safe navigation, a VTS User shall comply with all measures established or directions issued by a VTS.

(b) If, in a specific circumstance, a VTS User is unable to safely comply with a measure or direction issued by the VTS, the VTS User may deviate only to the extent necessary to avoid endangering persons, property or the environment. The deviation shall be reported to the VTS as soon as is practicable.

(c) When not exchanging voice communications, a VTS User must maintain a listening watch as required by §26.04(e) of this chapter on the VTS frequency designated in Table 1 to §161.12(c) (VTS and VMRS Centers, Call Signs/MMSI, Designated Frequencies, and Monitoring Areas). In addition, the VTS User must respond promptly when hailed and communicate in the English language.

Note to §161.12(c): As stated in 47 CFR 80.148(b), a very high frequency watch on Channel 16 (156.800 MHz) is not required on vessels subject to the Vessel Bridge-to-Bridge Radiotelephone Act and participating in a Vessel Traffic Service (VTS) system when the watch is maintained on both the vessel bridge-to-bridge frequency and a designated VTS frequency.

Table 1 to §161.12(c)—VTS and VMRS Centers, Call Signs/MMSI, Designated Frequencies, and Monitoring Areas

DesignationVTS and VMRS
Centers
Center call sign and MMSI1Designated frequency (channel
designation)—purpose2
Monitoring area3 4
(1)Berwick Bay—Berwick Traffic 003669950156.550 MHz (Ch. 11)The waters south of 29°45.00 N., west of 91°10.00 W., north of 29°37.00 N., and east of 91°18.00 W.
(2)Buzzards Bay—Buzzards Bay Control5156.550 MHz (Ch. 11)The waters east and north of a line drawn from the southern tangent of Sakonnet Point, Rhode Island, in approximate position latitude 41°27.20 N., longitude 71°11.70 W., to the Buzzards Bay Entrance Light in approximate position latitude 41°23.48 N., longitude 71°02.5 W., and then to the southwestern tangent of Cuttyhunk Island, Massachusetts, at approximate position latitude 41°24.60 N., longitude 70°57.00 W., and including all of the Cape Cod Canal to its eastern entrance, except that the area of New Bedford Harbor within the confines (north of) the hurricane barrier, and the passages through the Elizabeth Islands, is not considered to be “Buzzards Bay”.
(3)Houston-Galveston—The navigable waters north of 29°00.00 N., west of 94°20.00 W., south of 29°49.00 N., and east of 95°20.00 W.
(i)Houston Traffic 003669954156.550 MHz (Ch. 11)
156.250 MHz (Ch. 5A)—For Sailing Plans only
The navigable waters north of a line extending due west from the southernmost end of Exxon Dock #1 (20°43.37 N., 95°01.27 W.).
(ii)Houston Traffic156.600 MHz (Ch. 12)
156.250 MHz (Ch. 5A)—For Sailing Plans only
The navigable waters south of a line extending due west from the southernmost end of Exxon Dock #1 (29°43.37 N., 95°01.27 W.).
(4)Los Angeles-Long Beach—San Pedro Traffic 03660465156.700 MHz (Ch. 14)Vessel Movement Reporting System Area: The navigable waters within a 25 nautical mile radius of Point Fermin Light (33°42.30 N., 118°17.60 W.).
(5)Louisville—Louisville Traffic 003669732156.650 MHz (Ch. 13)The waters of the Ohio River between McAlpine Locks (Mile 606) and Twelve Mile Island (Mile 593), only when the McAlpine upper pool gauge is at approximately 13.0 feet or above.
(6)Lower Mississippi River—
(i)New Orleans Traffic 0036699952156.550 MHz (Ch. 11)The navigable waters of the Lower Mississippi River below 29°55.30 N., 89°55.60 W. (Saxonholm Light) at 86.0 miles Above Head of Passes (AHP), extending down river to Southwest Pass, and, within a 12 nautical mile radius around 28°54.30 N., 89°25.70 W. (Southwest Pass Entrance Light) at 20.1 miles Below Head of Passes (BHP).
(ii)New Orleans Traffic156.600 MHz (Ch. 12)The navigable waters of the Lower Mississippi River bounded on the north by a line drawn perpendicular on the river at 29°55.50 N., 90°12.77 W. (Upper Twelve Mile Point) at 109.0 miles AHP and on the south by a line drawn perpendicularly at 29°55.30 N., 89°55.60 W. (Saxonholm Light) at 86.0 miles AHP.
(iii)New Orleans Traffic156.250 MHz (Ch. 05A)The navigable waters of the Lower Mississippi River below 30°38.70 N., 91°17.50 W. (Port Hudson Light) at 254.5 miles AHP bounded on the south by a line drawn perpendicular on the river at 29°55.50 N., 90°12.77 W. (Upper Twelve Mile Point) at 109.0 miles AHP.
(7)New York—
(i)New York Traffic 003669951156.550 MHz (Ch. 11)—For Sailing Plans only
156.600 MHz (Ch. 12)—For vessels at anchor
The area consists of the navigable waters of the Lower New York Bay bounded on the east by a line drawn from Norton Point to Breezy Point; on the south by a line connecting the entrance buoys at the Ambrose Channel, Swash Channel, and Sandy Hook Channel to Sandy Hook Point; and on the southeast including the waters of Sandy Hook Bay south to a line drawn at latitude 40°25.00 N.; then west in the Raritan Bay to the Raritan River Railroad Bridge, then north into waters of the Arthur Kill and Newark Bay to the Lehigh Valley Draw Bridge at latitude 40°41.90 N.; and then east including the waters of the Kill Van Kull (KVK) and the Upper New York Bay north to a line drawn east-west from the Holland Tunnel ventilator shaft at latitude 40°43.70 N., longitude 74°01.60 W., in the Hudson River; and then continuing east including the waters of the East River to the Throgs Neck Bridge, excluding the Harlem River.
(ii)New York Traffic156.700 MHz (Ch. 14)The navigable waters of the Lower New York Bay west of a line drawn from Norton Point to Breezy Point; and north of a line connecting the entrance buoys of Ambrose Channel, Swash Channel, and Sandy Hook Channel, to Sandy Hook Point; on the southeast including the waters of the Sandy Hook Bay south to a line drawn at latitude 40°25.00 N.; then west into the waters of Raritan Bay East Reach to a line drawn from Great Kills Light south through Raritan Bay East Reach LGB #14 to Comfort Point, New Jersey; then north including the waters of the Upper New York Bay south of 40°42.40 N. (Brooklyn Bridge) and 40°43.70 N. (Holland Tunnel Ventilator Shaft); west through the KVK into the Arthur Kill north of 40°38.25 N. (Arthur Kill Railroad Bridge); then north into the waters of the Newark Bay, south of 40°41.95 N. (Lehigh Valley Draw Bridge).
(iii)New York Traffic156.600 MHz (Ch. 12)The navigable waters of the Raritan Bay south to a line drawn at latitude 40°26.00 N.; then west of a line drawn from Great Kills Light south through the Raritan Bay East Reach LGB #14 to Point Comfort, New Jersey; then west to the Raritan River Railroad Bridge; and north including the waters of the Arthur Kill to 40°28.25 N. (Arthur Kill Railroad Bridge); including the waters of the East River north of 40°42.40 N. (Brooklyn Bridge) to the Throgs Neck Bridge, excluding the Harlem River.
(8)Port Arthur—
(i)Port Arthur Traffic 003669955156.050 MHz (Ch. 01A)The navigable waters of the Sabine-Neches Canal south of 29°52.70 N.; Port Arthur Canal; Sabine Pass Channel; Sabine Bank Channel; Sabine Outer Bar Channel; the offshore safety fairway; and the ICW from High Island to its intersection with the Sabine-Neches Canal.
(ii)Port Arthur Traffic156.275 MHz (Ch. 65A)The navigable waters of the Neches River; Sabine River; and Sabine-Neches Waterway north of 29°52.70 N.; and the ICW from its intersection with the Sabine River to MM 260.
(iii)Port Arthur Traffic156.675 MHz (Ch. 73)6The navigable waters of the Calcasieu Channel; Calcasieu River Channel; and the ICW from MM 260 to MM 191.
(9)Prince William Sound—Valdez Traffic 003669958156.650 MHz (CH. 13)The navigable waters south of 61°05.00 N., east of 147°20.00 W., north of 60°00.00 N., and west of 146°30.00 W.; and, all navigable waters in Port Valdez.
(10)Puget Sound—7
(i)Seattle Traffic—003669957156.700 MHz (Ch. 14)The waters of Puget Sound, Hood Canal and adjacent waters south of a line connecting Nodule Point and Bush Point in Admiralty Inlet and south of a line drawn due east from the southernmost tip of Possession Point on Whidbey Island to the shoreline.
(ii)Seattle Traffic156.250 MHz (Ch. 5A)The U.S. waters of the Salish Sea east of 124°40.00 W. including waters south and east of a line drawn from Church Point on Vancouver Island, to Race Rocks Light, due east to the intersection of the U.S./Canadian border at 48°17.88 N., 123°14.1 W., north-easterly to Hein Bank in position 48°21.094 N., 123°02.672 W., northerly to Cattle Point Light on San Juan Island, along the shoreline to Lime Kiln Light, to Kellett Bluff Light on Henry Island, along the shoreline to the tip of McCracken Point at the northernmost point of Henry Island, to the southernmost point on Stuart Island in position 48°39.46 N., 123°11.08 W., along the shoreline to Turn Point Light, to Sandy Point on Waldron Island, along the shoreline to Point Hammond, to Patos Island Light, to Alden Bank in position 48°50.39 N., 122°52.227 W., then due north to Boundary Bay in position 49°00.125 N., 122°52.228 W., then due east along the international boundary to the shoreline in Semiahmoo Bay line connecting Nodule Point and Bush Point and all waters east of Whidbey Island north of a line drawn due east from the southernmost tip of Possession Point on Whidbey Island to the shoreline.
(iii)Prince Rupert Traffic—003160013156.725 MHz (Ch. 74)The waters west of 124°40.00 W. within 12 nautical miles of the coast of Vancouver Island including the waters north of 48°00.00 N., and east of 125°15.00 W.
(iv)Victoria Traffic—003160010156.550 MHz (Ch. 11)The waters of the Strait of Georgia, including Vancouver Harbor, Boundary Pass, and Haro Strait north and west of a line drawn from Church Point on Vancouver Island, to Race Rocks Light, due easterly to the intersection of the U.S./Canadian border at 48°17.883 N., 123°14.1 W., north-easterly to Hein Bank in position 48°21.093 N., 123°02.762 W., northerly to Cattle Point Light on San Juan Island, along the shoreline to Lime Kiln Light, to Kellett Bluff Light on Henry Island, along the shoreline to the tip of McCracken Point at the northernmost point of Henry Island, to the southernmost point on Stuart Island in position 48°39.467 N., 123°11.083 W., along the shoreline to Turn Point Light, to Sandy Point on Waldron Island, along the shoreline to Point Hammond, to Patos Island Light, to Alden Bank in position 48°50.389 N., 122°52.227 W., then due north to Boundary Bay in position 49°00.125 N., 122°52.227 W., then due east along the international boundary to the shoreline in Semiahmoo Bay.
(11)San Francisco—
(i)San Francisco Traffic 003669956156.700 MHz (Ch. 14)The navigable waters of the San Francisco Offshore Precautionary Area, the navigable waters shoreward of the San Francisco Offshore Precautionary Area east of 122°42.00 W. and north of 37°40.00 N. extending eastward through the Golden Gate, and the navigable waters of San Francisco Bay and as far east as the port of Stockton on the San Joaquin River, as far north as the port of Sacramento on the Sacramento River.
(ii)San Francisco Traffic156.600 MHz (Ch. 12)The navigable waters within a 38 nautical mile radius of Mount Tamalpais (37°55.80 N., 122°34.60 W.) west of 122°42.00 W. and south of 37°40.00 N. and excluding the San Francisco Offshore Precautionary Area.
(12)St. Marys River—Soo Traffic 003669953156.600 MHz (Ch. 12)The waters of the St. Marys River and lower Whitefish Bay from 45°57.00 N. (De Tour Reef Light) to the south, to 46°38.70 N. (Ile Parisienne Light) to the north, except the waters of the St. Marys Falls Canal and to the east along a line from La Pointe to Sims Point, within Potagannissing Bay and Worsley Bay.

Notes:

1Maritime Mobile Service Identifier (MMSI) is a unique nine-digit number assigned that identifies ship stations, ship earth stations, coast stations, coast earth stations, and group calls for use by a digital selective calling (DSC) radio, an INMARSAT ship earth station or AIS. AIS requirements are set forth in §161.21. The requirements set forth in §§161.21 and 164.46 of this subchapter apply in those areas denoted with an MMSI number, except for Louisville and Los Angeles/Long Beach.

2In the event of a communication failure, difficulties or other safety factors, the Center may direct or permit a user to monitor and report on any other designated monitoring frequency or the bridge-to-bridge navigational frequency, 156.650 MHz (Channel 13) or 156.375 MHz (Channel 67), to the extent that doing so provides a level of safety beyond that provided by other means. The bridge-to-bridge navigational frequency, 156.650 MHz (Ch. 13) is used in certain monitoring areas where the level of reporting does not warrant a designated frequency.

3All geographic coordinates (latitude and longitude) are expressed in North American Datum of 1983 (NAD 83).

4Some monitoring areas extend beyond navigable waters. Although not required, users are strongly encouraged to maintain a listening watch on the designated monitoring frequency in these areas. Otherwise, they are required to maintain watch as stated in 47 CFR 80.148.

5In addition to the vessels denoted in §161.16, requirements set forth in subpart B of this part also apply to any vessel transiting VMRS Buzzards Bay required to carry a bridge-to-bridge radiotelephone by part 26 of this chapter.

6Until otherwise directed, full VTS services will not be available in the Calcasieu Channel, Calcasieu River Channel, and the ICW from MM 260 to MM 191. Vessels may contact Port Arthur Traffic on the designated VTS frequency to request advisories, but are not required to monitor the VTS frequency in this zone.

7A Cooperative Vessel Traffic Service was established by the United States and Canada within adjoining waters. The appropriate Center administers the rules issued by both nations; however, enforces only its own set of rules within its jurisdiction. Note: the bridge-to-bridge navigational frequency, 156.650 MHz (Ch. 13), is not so designated in Canadian waters, therefore users are encouraged and permitted to make passing arrangements on the designated monitoring frequencies.

(d) As soon as is practicable, a VTS User shall notify the VTS of any of the following:

(1) A marine casualty as defined in 46 CFR 4.05-1;

(2) Involvement in the ramming of a fixed or floating object;

(3) A pollution incident as defined in §151.15 of this chapter;

(4) A defect or discrepancy in an aid to navigation;

(5) A hazardous condition as defined in §160.202 of this chapter;

(6) Improper operation of vessel equipment required by part 164 of this chapter;

(7) A situation involving hazardous materials for which a report is required by 49 CFR 176.48; and

(8) A hazardous vessel operating condition as defined in §161.2.

[CGD 90-020, 59 FR 36324, July 15, 1994]

Editorial Note: For Federal Register citations affecting §161.12, see the List of CFR Sections Affected, which appears in the Finding Aids section of the printed volume and at www.govinfo.gov.

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§161.13   VTS Special Area operating requirements.

The following operating requirements apply within a VTS Special Area:

(a) A VTS User shall, if towing astern, do so with as short a hawser as safety and good seamanship permits.

(b) A VMRS User shall: (1) Not enter or get underway in the area without prior approval of the VTS;

(2) Not enter a VTS Special Area if a hazardous vessel operating condition or circumstance exists;

(3) Not meet, cross, or overtake any other VMRS User in the area without prior approval of the VTS; and

(4) Before meeting, crossing, or overtaking any other VMRS User in the area, communicate on the designated vessel bridge-to-bridge radiotelephone frequency, intended navigation movements, and any other information necessary in order to make safe passing arrangements. This requirement does not relieve a vessel of any duty prescribed by the International Regulations for Prevention of Collisions at Sea, 1972 (72 COLREGS) or the Inland Navigation Rules.

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Subpart B—Vessel Movement Reporting System

§161.15   Purpose and intent.

(a) A Vessel Movement Reporting System (VMRS) is a system used to monitor and track vessel movements within a VTS or VMRS area. This is accomplished by requiring that vessels provide information under established procedures as set forth in this part, or as directed by the Center.

(b) To avoid imposing an undue reporting burden or unduly congesting radiotelephone frequencies, reports shall be limited to information which is essential to achieve the objectives of the VMRS. These reports are consolidated into three reports (sailing plan, position, and final).

[CGD 90-020, 59 FR 36324, July 15, 1994, as amended by USCG-2003-14757, 68 FR 39366, July 1, 2003; USCG-2011-0257, 76 FR 31838, June 2, 2011]

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§161.16   Applicability.

Unless otherwise stated, the provisions of this subpart apply to the following vessels and VMRS Users:

(a) Every power-driven vessel of 40 meters (approximately 131 feet) or more in length, while navigating;

(b) Every towing vessel of 8 meters (approximately 26 feet) or more in length, while navigating; or

(c) Every vessel certificated to carry 50 or more passengers for hire, when engaged in trade.

[CGD 90-020, 59 FR 36324, July 15, 1994, as amended by USCG-2003-14757, 68 FR 39366, July 1, 2003]

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§161.17   [Reserved]

§161.18   Reporting requirements.

(a) A Center may: (1) Direct a vessel to provide any of the information set forth in Table 161.18(a) (IMO Standard Ship Reporting System);

Table 161.18(a)—The IMO Standard Ship Reporting System

AALPHAShipName, call sign or ship station identity, and flag.
BBRAVODates and time of eventA 6 digit group giving day of month (first two digits), hours and minutes (last four digits). If other than UTC state time zone used.
CCHARLIEPositionA 4 digit group giving latitude in degrees and minutes suffixed with N (north) or S (south) and a 5 digit group giving longitude in degrees and minutes suffixed with E (east) or W (west); or
DDELTAPositionTrue bearing (first 3 digits) and distance (state distance) in nautical miles from a clearly identified landmark (state landmark).
EECHOTrue courseA 3 digit group.
FFOXTROTSpeed in knots and tenths of knotsA 3 digit group.
GGOLFPort of DepartureName of last port of call.
HHOTELDate, time and point of entry systemEntry time expressed as in (B) and into the entry position expressed as in (C) or (D).
IINDIADestination and expected time of arrivalName of port and date time group expressed as in (B).
JJULIETPilotState whether a deep sea or local pilot is on board.
KKILODate, time and point of exit from systemExit time expressed as in (B) and exit position expressed as in (C) or (D).
LLIMARoute informationIntended track.
MMIKERadioState in full names of communications stations/frequencies guarded.
NNOVEMBERTime of next reportDate time group expressed as in (B).
OOSCARMaximum present static draught in meters4 digit group giving meters and centimeters.
PPAPACargo on boardCargo and brief details of any dangerous cargoes as well as harmful substances and gases that could endanger persons or the environment.
QQUEBECDefects, damage, deficiencies or limitationsBrief detail of defects, damage, deficiencies or other limitations.
RROMEODescription of pollution or dangerous goods lostBrief details of type of pollution (oil, chemicals, etc.) or dangerous goods lost overboard; position expressed as in (C) or (D).
SSIERRAWeather conditionsBrief details of weather and sea conditions prevailing.
TTANGOShip's representative and/or ownerDetails of name and particulars of ship's representative and/or owner for provision of information.
UUNIFORMShip size and typeDetails of length, breadth, tonnage, and type, etc., as required.
VVICTORMedical personnelDoctor, physician's assistant, nurse, no medic.
WWHISKEYTotal number of persons on boardState number.
XXRAYMiscellaneousAny other information as appropriate. [i.e., a detailed description of a planned operation, which may include: its duration; effective area; any restrictions to navigation; notification procedures for approaching vessels; in addition, for a towing operation: configuration, length of the tow, available horsepower, etc.; for a dredge or floating plant: configuration of pipeline, mooring configuration, number of assist vessels, etc.].

(2) Establish other means of reporting for those vessels unable to report on the designated frequency; or

(3) Require reports from a vessel in sufficient time to allow advance vessel traffic planning.

(b) All reports required by this part shall be made as soon as is practicable on the frequency designated in Table 161.12(c) (VTS and VMRS Centers, Call Signs/MMSI, Designated Frequencies, and Monitoring Areas).

(c) When not exchanging communications, a VMRS User must maintain a listening watch as described in §26.04(e) of this chapter on the frequency designated in Table 161.12(c) (VTS and VMRS Centers, Call Signs/MMSI, Designated Frequencies, and Monitoring Areas). In addition, the VMRS User must respond promptly when hailed and communicate in the English language.

Note: As stated in 47 CFR 80.148(b), a VHF watch on Channel 16 (156.800 MHz) is not required on vessels subject to the Vessel Bridge-to-Bridge Radiotelephone Act and participating in a Vessel Traffic Service (VTS) system when the watch is maintained on both the vessel bridge-to-bridge frequency and a designated VTS frequency.

(d) A vessel must report:

(1) Any significant deviation from its Sailing Plan, as defined in §161.19, or from previously reported information; or

(2) Any intention to deviate from a VTS issued measure or vessel traffic routing system.

(e) When reports required by this part include time information, such information shall be given using the local time zone in effect and the 24-hour military clock system.

[CGD 90-020, 59 FR 36324, July 15, 1994, as amended by USCG-2003-14757, 68 FR 39366, July 1, 2003; USCG-2015-0433, 80 FR 44282, July 27, 2015]

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§161.19   Sailing Plan (SP).

Unless otherwise stated, at least 15 minutes before navigating a VTS area, a vessel must report the:

(a) Vessel name and type;

(b) Position;

(c) Destination and ETA;

(d) Intended route;

(e) Time and point of entry; and

(f) Dangerous cargo on board or in its tow, as defined in §160.202 of this chapter.

[CGD 90-020, 59 FR 36324, July 15, 1994, as amended by USCG-2011-1024, 78 FR 51671, Aug. 21, 2013; USCG-2005-21869, 80 FR 5334, Jan. 30, 2015]

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§161.20   Position Report (PR).

A vessel must report its name and position:

(a) Upon point of entry into a VMRS area;

(b) At designated reporting points as set forth in subpart C; or

(c) When directed by the Center.

[CGD 90-020, 59 FR 36324, July 15, 1994, as amended by USCG-2003-14757, 68 FR 39366, July 1, 2003]

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§161.21   Automated reporting.

(a) Unless otherwise directed, vessels equipped with an Automatic Identification System (AIS) are required to make continuous, all stations, AIS broadcasts, in lieu of voice Position Reports, to those Centers denoted in Table 161.12(c) of this part.

(b) Should an AIS become non-operational, while or prior to navigating a VMRS area, it should be restored to operating condition as soon as possible, and, until restored a vessel must:

(1) Notify the Center;

(2) Make voice radio Position Reports at designated reporting points as required by §161.20(b) of this part; and

(3) Make any other reports as directed by the Center.

[USCG-2003-14757, 68 FR 39366, July 1, 2003]

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§161.22   Final Report (FR).

A vessel must report its name and position:

(a) On arrival at its destination; or

(b) When leaving a VTS area.

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§161.23   Reporting exemptions.

(a) Unless otherwise directed, the following vessels are exempted from providing Position and Final Reports due to the nature of their operation:

(1) Vessels on a published schedule and route;

(2) Vessels operating within an area of a radius of three nautical miles or less; or

(3) Vessels escorting another vessel or assisting another vessel in maneuvering procedures.

(b) A vessel described in paragraph (a) of this section must:

(1) Provide a Sailing Plan at least 5 minutes but not more than 15 minutes before navigating within the VMRS area; and

(2) If it departs from its promulgated schedule by more than 15 minutes or changes its limited operating area, make the established VMRS reports, or report as directed.

[CGD 90-020, 59 FR 36324, July 15, 1994, as amended by CGD 97-023, 62 FR 33364, June 19, 1997; USCG-2003-14757, 68 FR 39367, July 1, 2003]

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Subpart C—Vessel Traffic Service and Vessel Movement Reporting System Areas and Reporting Points

Note: All geographic coordinates contained in part 161 (latitude and longitude) are expressed in North American Datum of 1983 (NAD 83).

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§161.25   Vessel Traffic Service New York Area.

The area consists of the navigable waters of the Lower New York Harbor bounded on the east by a line drawn from Norton Point to Breezy Point; on the south by a line connecting the entrance buoys at the Ambrose Channel, Swash Channel, and Sandy Hook Channel to Sandy Hook Point; and on the southeast including the waters of Sandy Hook Bay south to a line drawn at latitude 40°25 N.; then west into waters of the Raritan Bay to the Raritan River Rail Road Bridge; and then north including the waters of the Arthur Kill and Newark Bay to the Lehigh Valley Draw Bridge at latitude 40°41.9 N.; and then east including the waters of the Kill Van Kull and Upper New York Bay north to a line drawn east-west from the Holland Tunnel Ventilator Shaft at latitude 40°43.7 N., longitude 74°01.6 W. in the Hudson River; and then continuing east including the waters of the East River to the Throgs Neck Bridge, excluding the Harlem River.

Note: Although mandatory participation in VTSNY is limited to the area within the navigable waters of the United States, VTSNY will provide services beyond those waters. Prospective users are encouraged to report beyond the area of required participation in order to facilitate advance vessel traffic management in the VTS area and to receive VTSNY advisories and/or assistance.

[CGD 92-052, 61 FR 45327, Aug. 29, 1996]

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§161.30   Vessel Traffic Service Louisville.

The VTS area consists of the navigable waters of the Ohio River between McAlpine Locks (Mile 606.8) and Twelve Mile Island (Mile 593), only when the McAlpine upper pool gauge is at 13.0 feet or above.

[CGD 90-020, 59 FR 36324, July 15, 1994, as amended by USCG-1998-3799, 63 FR 35531, June 30, 1998]

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§161.35   Vessel Traffic Service Houston/Galveston.

(a) The VTS area consists of the following major waterways and portions of connecting waterways: Galveston Bay Entrance Channel; Outer Bar Channel; Inner Bar Channel; Bolivar Roads Channel; Galveston Channel; Gulf ICW and Galveston-Freeport Cut-Off from Mile 346 to Mile 352; Texas City Channel; Texas City Turning Basin; Texas City Canal Channel; Texas City Canal Turning Basin; Houston Ship Channel; Bayport Channel; Bayport Turning Basin; Houston Turning Basin; and the following precautionary areas associated with these waterways.

(b) Precautionary areas.

Table 161.35(b)—VTS Houston/Galveston Precautionary Areas

Precautionary area nameRadius (yds.)Center point
LatitudeLongitude
Bolivar Roads400029°20.9 N94°47.0 W
Red Fish Bar400029°29.8 N94°51.9 W
Bayport Channel400029°36.7 N94°57.2 W
Morgans Point200029°41.0 N94°59.0 W
Upper San Jacinto Bay100029°42.3 N95°01.1 W
Baytown100029°43.6 N95°01.4 W
Lynchburg100029°45.8 N95°04.8 W
Carpenters Bayou100029°45.3 N95°05.6 W
Jacintoport100029°44.8 N95°06.0 W
Greens Bayou100029°44.8 N95°10.2 W
Hunting Bayou100029°44.3 N95°12.1 W
Sims Bayou100029°43.2 N95°14.4 W
Brady Island100029°43.5 N95°16.4 W
Buffalo Bayou100029°45.0 N95°17.3 W

Note: Each Precautionary Area encompasses a circular area of the radius denoted.

(c) Reporting points.

Table 161.35(c)—VTS Houston/Galveston Reporting Points

DesignatorGeographic nameGeographic descriptionLatitude/ longitudeNotes
1Galveston Bay Entrance ChannelGalveston Bay Entrance CH Lighted Buoy (LB) “1C”29°18.2 N; 94°37.6 W
2Galveston Bay Entrance ChannelGalveston Bay Entrance Channel LB 11 and 1229°20.6 N; 94°44.6 W
EBolivar Land CutMile 349 Intracoastal Waterway (ICW)29°22.5 N; 94°46.9 WTows entering HSC also report at HSC LB 25 & 26.
WPelican CutMile 351 ICW29°21.4 N; 94°48.5 WTows entering HSC also report at HSC LB 25 & 26.
GGalveston HarborGalveston Channel Lt. 229°20.2 N; 94°46.6 WCoast Guard Base.
TTexas City ChannelTexas City Channel Lt. 1229°22.4 N; 94°50.9 W
XHouston Ship Channel ICW IntersectionHouston Ship Channel (HSC) LB 25 and 2629°22.2 N; 94°48.1 WTow entering HSC from ICW or Texas Cut Only.
3Lower Galveston BayHSC Lt. 31 and LB 3229°23.8 N; 94°48.9 W
4Red Fish BarHSC Lt. 53 & 5429°30.3 N; 94°52.4 W
PBayport Ship ChannelBayport Ship Channel Lt. 8 and 929°36.8 N; 94°59.5 WBayport Land Cut.
4AUpper Galveston BayHSC Lt. 69 and 7029°34.7 N; 94°55.8 WTows only.
5Morgan's PointHSC Lt. 9129°41.0 N; 94°59.0 W
6ExxonHSC Lt. 109A29°43.5 N; 95°01.4 W
7LynchburgFerry crossing29°45.8 N; 95°04.8 W
8Shell OilBoggy Bayou29°44.1 N; 95°08.0 W
9Greens BayouHSC Lt. 15229°44.8 N; 95°10.1 W
10Hunting BayouHunting Bayou Turning Basin.29°44.4 N; 95°12.1 W
11LyondellSims Bayou Turning Basin.29°43.2 N; 95°14.4 W
12I-610 BridgeI-610 Bridge29°43.5 N; 95°16.0 W
13Buffalo BayouHouston Turning Basin29°45.0 N; 95° 17.4 W

[CGD 90-020, 59 FR 36324, July 15, 1994, as amended by CGD 95-033, 60 FR 28331, May 31, 1995; USCG-2000-7223, 65 FR 40058, June 29, 2000; USCG-2007-27887, 72 FR 45904, Aug. 16, 2007]

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§161.40   Vessel Traffic Service Berwick Bay.

(a) The VTS area consists of the navigable waters of the following segments of waterways: the Intracoastal Waterway (ICW) Morgan City to Port Allen Alternate Route from Mile Marker 0 to Mile Marker 5; the ICW from Mile Marker 93 west of Harvey Lock (WHL) to Mile Marker 102 WHL; the Atchafalaya River Route from Mile Marker 113 to Mile Marker 122; from Bayou Shaffer Junction (ICW Mile Marker 94.5 WHL) south one statute mile along Bayou Shaffer; and from Berwick Lock northwest one statute mile along the Lower Atchafalaya River.

(b) VTS Special Area. The Berwick Bay VTS Special Area consists of those waters within a 1000 yard radius of the Burlington Northern/Santa Fe Railroad Bridge located at Mile .03 MC/PA.

(c) Reporting Points.

Table 161.40(c)—VTS Berwick Bay Reporting Points

DesignatorGeographic nameGeographic descriptionLatitude/longitudeNotes
1Stouts PassStouts Point Light “1” Mile 113-Atchafalaya River29°4347 N
91°1325 W
2Berwick LockMile 1.9 MC/PA29°4310 N
91°1328 W
If transiting the Lock.
3Conrad's Point JunctionBuoy “1” Mile 1.5 MC/PA29°4232 N
91°1314 W
4Swift Ships Flat Lake JunctionMile 3 MC/PA29°4326 N
91°1222 W
5Burlington Northern/Santa Fe Railroad BridgeMile 0.3 MC/PA29°4134 N
91°1244 W
620 Grant Point JunctionBayou Boeuf-Atchafalaya R. Mile 95.5 ICW29°4118 N
91°1236 W
7ICWOverhead Power Cable Mile 96.5 ICW29°4043 N
91°1318 W
8Wax Bayou JunctionLight “A” Mile 98.2W ICW29°3929 N
91°1446 W
9Shaffer JunctionICW-Bayou Shaffer Mile 94.5 ICW29°4110 N
91°1138 W

[CGD 90-020, 59 FR 36324, July 15, 1994, as amended by CGD 95-033, 60 FR 28332, May 31, 1995; USCG-1998-3799, 63 FR 35531, June 30, 1998; USCG-2009-0416, 74 FR 27441, June 10, 2009]

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§161.45   Vessel Traffic Service St. Marys River.

(a) The VTS area consists of the navigable waters of the St. Marys River and lower Whitefish Bay from 45°57 N. (De Tour Reef Light) to the south, to 46°38.7 N. (Ile Parisienne Light) to the north, except the waters of the St. Marys Falls Canal, and to the east along a line from La Pointe to Sims Point, within Potagannissing Bay and Worsley Bay.

(b) Reporting Points.

Table 1 to §161.45(b)—VTS St. Marys River Reporting Points

DesignatorGeographic nameGeographic descriptionLatitude/longitudeNotes
1Ile ParisienneIle Parisienne Light46°37.3 N; 84°45.9 WDownbound Only.
2Gros Cap ReefGros Cap Reefs Light46°30.6 N; 84°37.1 WUpbound Only.
3Round IslandRound Island Light 3246°26.9 N; 84°31.7W.
4Pointe LouisePointe Louise Light46°27.8 N; 84°28.2W.
5West End of LocksWest Center Pierhead Light46°30.2 N; 84°22.2 WUpbound Only.
6East End of LocksEast Center Pierhead Light46°30.1 N; 84°20.3 WDownbound Only.
7Mission PointLight 9946°29.2 N; 84°18.1W.
8Six Mile PointSix Mile Point46°26.1 N; 84°15.4W.
9Ninemile PointLight 8046°23.5 N; 84°14.1W.
10West Neebish ChannelLight 2946°16.9 N; 84°12.5 WDownbound Only.
11Munuscong Lake JunctionLighted Junction Buoy46°10.8 N; 84°05.6W.
12De Tour ReefDe Tour Reef Light46°56.9 N; 83°53.7 W.   

[CGD 90-020, 59 FR 36324, July 15, 1994, as amended by CGD 95-033, 60 FR 28332, May 31, 1995; USCG-1998-3799, 63 FR 35531, June 30, 1998; USCG-2016-0498, 82 FR 35088, July 28, 2017]

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§161.50   Vessel Traffic Service San Francisco.

The VTS area consists of all the navigable waters of San Francisco Bay Region south of the Mare Island Causeway Bridge and the Petaluma River Entrance Channel Daybeacon 19 and Petaluma River Entrace Channel Light 20 and north of the Dumbarton Bridge; its seaward approaches within a 38 nautical mile radius of Mount Tamalpais (37°55.8 N., 122°34.6 W.); and its navigable tributaries as far east as the port of Stockton on the San Joaquin River, as far north as the port of Sacramento on the Sacramento River.

[CGD 90-020, 59 FR 36324, July 15, 1994, as amended by CGD 95-033, 60 FR 28332, May 31, 1995; USCG-2016-0498, 82 FR 35088, July 28, 2017]

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§161.55   Vessel Traffic Service Puget Sound and the Cooperative Vessel Traffic Service for the Juan de Fuca Region.

The Vessel Traffic Service Puget Sound area consists of the U.S. navigable waters of the Salish Sea from a line drawn from the Washington State coastline at 48°23.133 N., 124°43.616 W. on Cape Flattery to the Cape Flattery Light at 48°23.5 N., 124°44.2 W. on Tatoosh Island, due west to the U.S. Territorial Sea Boundary; thence northward along the U.S. Territorial Sea Boundary to its intersection with the U.S./Canada International Boundary; thence east along the U.S./Canada International Boundary to 49°00.1 N., 122°45.3 W. (International Boundary Range C Rear Light).

(a) Vessel Traffic Service Puget Sound participates in a U.S./Canadian Cooperative Vessel Traffic Service (CVTS) to jointly manage vessel traffic in the Juan de Fuca Region. The CVTS for the Juan de Fuca Region consists of all navigable waters of the Salish Sea, bounded on the northwest by 48°35.749 N.; and on the southwest by 48°23.5 N.; and on the west by the rhumb line joining 48°35.749 N., 124°47.5 W. with 48°23.5 N., 124°48.616 W.; and on the northeast by a line drawn along 49° N. from Vancouver Island to Semiahmoo Bay; and on the southeast, by a line drawn from McCurdy Point on the Quimper Peninsula to Point Partridge on Whidbey Island. Canadian and United States Vessel Traffic Centers (Prince Rupert, B.C., Canada; Vancouver, B.C., Canada; and Seattle, WA) manage traffic within the CVTS area irrespective of the International Boundary.

(b) VTS Special Area: The Eastern San Juan Island Archipelago VTS Special Area consists of all waters of the eastern San Juan Island Archipelago including: Rosario Strait bounded to the south by latitude 48°26.40 N. (the center of the Precautionary Area “RB”) extending from Lopez Island to Fidalgo Island, and to the north by latitude 48°40.57 N. (the center of the Precautionary Area “C”) extending from Orcas Island to Lummi Island; Guemes Channel; Bellingham Channel; Padilla Bay and southern Bellingham Bay (Samish Bay) south of latitude 48°38.42N.

Note: The center of precautionary area “RB” is not marked by a buoy. All precautionary areas are depicted on National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) nautical charts.

(c) Additional VTS Special Area Operating Requirements. The following additional requirements are applicable in the Eastern San Juan Island Archipelago VTS Special Area:

(1) A vessel engaged in towing shall not impede the passage of a vessel of 40,000 dead weight tons or more.

(2) A vessel of less than 40,000 dead weight tons is exempt from the provision set forth in §161.13(b)(1) of this part.

(3) A vessel of less than 100 meters in length is exempt from the provisions set forth in §161.13(b)(3) of this part.

(4) Approval will not be granted for:

(i) A vessel of 100 meters or more in length to meet or overtake a vessel of 40,000 dead weight tons or more;

(ii) A vessel of 40,000 dead weight tons or more to meet or overtake a vessel of 100 meters or more in length;

(iii) A vessel of 100 meters or more in length to cross or operate within 2,000 yards (except when crossing astern) of a vessel of 40,000 deadweight tons or more; or

(iv) A vessel of 40,000 dead weight tons or more to cross or operate within 2,000 yards (except when crossing astern) of a vessel of 100 meters or more in length.

(d) Reporting Point. Inbound vessels in the Strait of Juan de Fuca upon crossing 124-W.

[CGD 90-020, 59 FR 36324, July 15, 1994, as amended by USCG-1998-3799, 63 FR 35531, June 30, 1998; USCG-2011-1024, 78 FR 51671, Aug. 21, 2013; USCG-2014-0410, 79 FR 38442, July 7, 2014; USCG-2016-0498, 82 FR 35088, July 28, 2017; USCG-2018-0874, 84 FR 30880, June 28, 2019]

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§161.60   Vessel Traffic Service Prince William Sound.

(a) The VTS area consists of the navigable waters of the United States north of a line drawn from Cape Hinchinbrook Light to Schooner Rock Light, comprising that portion of Prince William Sound between 146°30 W. and 147°20 W. and includes Valdez Arm, Valdez Narrows and Port Valdez.

(b) The Valdez Arm VTS Special Area consists of the waters of the Valdez Arm Traffic Separation Scheme (described in §167.1703 of this chapter); the waters northeast of a line drawn from shoreline to shoreline through the points 60°58.04 N, 146°46.52 W and 60°58.93 N, 146°48.86 W; and southwest of a line bearing 307° True from Tongue Point at 61°02.10 N, 146°40.00 W.

(c) The Valdez Narrows VTS Special Area consists of those waters of Valdez Arm, Valdez Narrows, and Port Valdez northeast of a line bearing 307° True from Tongue Point at 61°0206 N., 146°40 W.; and southwest of a line bearing 307° True from Entrance Island Light at 61°0506 N., 146°3642 W.

(d) Additional VTS Special Area Operating Requirements. The following additional requirements are applicable in the Valdez Narrows VTS Special Area:

(1) No VMRS User shall proceed north of 61° N. without prior approval of the VTS.

(2) For a vessel listed in paragraph (c)(3) of this section—

(i) Approval to enter this area will not be granted to a vessel when a tank vessel of more than 20,000 deadweight tons is navigating therein;

(ii) A northbound vessel shall remain south of 61° N. until the VTS has granted permission to proceed; and

(iii) A southbound vessel shall remain in Port Valdez east of 146°35 W. and north of 61°06 N. until the VTS has granted permission to proceed.

(3) Paragraph (c)(2) of this section applies to—

(i) A vessel of 1600 gross tons or more; and

(ii) A towing vessel of 8 meters or more in length, except for a vessel performing duties as an escort vessel as defined in 33 CFR Part 168.

(e) Reporting Points.

Table 161.60(d)—VTS Prince William Sound Reporting Points

DesignatorGeographic nameGeographic descriptionLatitude/longitudeNotes
1ACape HinchinbrookCape Hinchinbrook60°1618 N; 146°4530 WNorthbound Only.
1BSchooner RockSchooner Rock60°1842 N; 146°5136 WSouthbound Only.
2ANaked IslandNaked Island60°4000 N; 147°0124 WNorthbound Only.
2BNaked IslandNaked Island60°4000 N; 147°0500 WSouthbound Only.
3ABligh ReefBligh Reef Light (Pilot Embark)60°5036 N; 146°5730 WNorthbound Only.
3BBligh ReefBligh Reef Light (Pilot Disembark)60°5100 N; 147°0124 WSouthbound Only.
4ARocky PointRocky Point60°5748 N; 146°4730 WNorthbound Only.
4BRocky PointRocky Point60°5748 N; 146°5000 WSouthbound Only.
5Entrance IslandEntrance Island Light61°0524 N; 146°3730 W.

[CGD 90-020, 59 FR 36324, July 15, 1994, as amended by CGD 95-033, 60 FR 28332, May 31, 1995; USCG-1998-3799, 63 FR 35532, June 30, 1998; USCG-2001-10254, 67 FR 53742, Aug. 19, 2002; USCG-2015-0433, 80 FR 44282, July 27, 2015]

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§161.65   Vessel Traffic Service Lower Mississippi River.

(a) The Vessel Traffic Service (VTS) area consists of navigable waters of the Lower Mississippi River (LMR) below 30°38.7 N 91°17.5 W (Port Hudson Light at 254.5 miles Above Head of Passes (AHP)), the Southwest Pass, and those within a 12-nautical mile radius around 28°54.3 N 89°25.7 W (Southwest Pass Entrance Light at 20.1 miles Below Head of Passes).

(b) The Algiers Point VTS Special Area consists of the navigable waters of the LMR bounded on the north by a line drawn from 29°57.62 N 90°02.61 W to 29°57.34 N 90°02.60 W and on the south by a line drawn from 29°56.89 N 90°03.72 W to 29°56.93 N 90°03.34 W (95.0 and 93.5 miles AHP) during periods of high water—that is, when the Carrolton Gage reads 8.0 feet or above on a rising stage or 9.0 feet or above on a falling stage, or under any other water conditions the Captain of the Port (COTP) deems necessary.

(c) Additional Algiers Point VTS Special Area Operating Requirements. The following additional requirements are applicable in the Algiers Point VTS Special Area:

(1) A vessel movement reporting system (VMRS) user must abide by the signals of the Governor Nicholls Street Wharf, 29°57.6 N 90°03.4 W, and Gretna, 29°55.5 N 90°03.7 W, Control Lights (94.3 and 96.6 miles AHP, respectively) in the following manner:

(i) Green Light—May proceed as intended.

(ii) Red Light—Do not proceed, unless otherwise directed by the VTS.

(iii) No Light—Do not proceed, immediately notify VTS and await further directions.

Note to §161.65(c)(1): To provide advance notification to downbound vessels, a traffic repeater signal of Gretna Light is located at Westwego, LA, 29°54.8 N; 90°08.3 W (101.4 miles AHP).

(2) A vessel awaiting a signal change or VTS directions must keep clear of other vessels transiting the area.

(d) The Eighty-one Mile Point VTS Special Area consists of navigable waters of the LMR between 167.5 miles AHP and 187.9 miles AHP.

(e) Additional Eighty-one Mile Point VTS Special Area Operating Requirements. The following additional requirements are applicable in the Eighty-one Mile Point VTS Special Area:

(1) Prior to proceeding upriver past 167.5 miles AHP, Sunshine Bridge, vessels must contact VTS New Orleans on VHF Channel 5A to check-in. Vessels must provide name and destination, confirm proper operation of their automated identification system (AIS) if required under 33 CFR 164.46, and, if applicable, size of tow and number of loaded and empty barges. At 173.7 miles AHP, Bringier Point Light, ascending vessels must contact VTS New Orleans and provide a follow-on position check. At both check-in and follow-on position check, VTS New Orleans will advise the vessel on traffic approaching Eighty-one Mile Point.

(2) Prior to proceeding downriver past 187.9 miles AHP COS-MAR Lights, vessels must contact VTS New Orleans on VHF Channel 5A to check-in. Vessels must provide name and destination, confirm proper operation of their AIS if required under 33 CFR 164.46, and, if applicable, size of tow and number of loaded and empty barges. At 183.9 miles AHP, Wyandotte Chemical Dock Lights, descending vessels must contact VTS New Orleans and provide a follow-on position check. At both check-in and follow-on position check, VTS New Orleans will advise the vessel on traffic approaching Eighty-one Mile Point.

(3) All vessels getting underway between miles 167.5 and 187.9 AHP must check-in with VTS New Orleans on VHF Channel 5A immediately prior to getting underway and must comply with the respective ascending and descending check-in and follow-on points listed in paragraphs (e)(1) and (2) of this section.

(4) Fleet vessels must checkin with VTS New Orleans if they leave their respective fleet or if they move into the main channel. Fleet vessels are not required to checkin if they are operating exclusively within their fleet.

(f) Reporting Points. Table 161.65(f) lists the VTS Lower Mississippi River Reporting Points.

Table 161.65(f)—VTS Lower Mississippi River Reporting Points

DesignatorGeographic nameGeographic
description
Latitude/longitude/mile markerNotes
AAlgiers Canal Forebay88.0 AHP29°55.40 N; 89°57.7 WUpbound transiting Algiers Point Special Area.
BIndustrial Canal92.7 AHP29°57.2 N; 90°01.68 WUpbound transiting Algiers Point Special Area.
CCrescent Towing Smith Fleet93.5 AHP29°57.50 N; 90°02.62 WUpbound Towing vessels transiting Algiers Point Special Area.
DMarlex Terminal (Naval Ships)99.0 AHP29°54.65 N; 90°05.87 WDownbound transiting Algiers Point Special Area.
EHuey P Long Bridge106.1 AHP29°56.6 N; 90°10.1 WDownbound transiting Algiers Point Special Area.

[USCG-1998-4399, 75 FR 66314, Oct. 28, 2010, as amended at 76 FR 31230, May 31, 2011]

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§161.70   Vessel Traffic Service Port Arthur.

(a) The VTS area consists of the navigable waters of the United States to the limits of the territorial seas bound by the following points: 30°10.00 N., 92°37.00 W.; then south to 29°10.00 N., 92°37.00 W.; then west to 29°10.00 N., 93°52.25 W.; then northwest to 29°33.70 N., 94°21.25 W.; then north to 30°10.00 N., 94°21.25 W.; then east along the 30°10 N. latitude to the origination point.

Note: Although mandatory participation in VTS Port Arthur is limited to the area within the navigable waters of the United States, prospective users are encouraged to report at the safe water marks in order to facilitate vessel traffic management in the VTS Area and to receive advisories or navigational assistance.

(b) Precautionary areas.

Table 161.70(b)—VTS Port Arthur Precautionary Areas

Precautionary area name Radius Center point
latitude
Center point
longitude
Petco Bend(1)2000 yds30°00.80 N.93°57.60 W.
Black Bayou(1)2000 yds30°00.00 N.93°46.20 W.
Orange Cut(1)2000 yds30°03.25 N.93°43.20 W.
Neches River Intersection(1)2000 yds29°58.10 N.93°51.25 W.
Texaco Island Intersection(1)2000 yds29°49.40 N.94°57.55 W.
Sabine-Neches WaterwayN/AAll waters of the Sabine-Neches Waterway between the Texaco Island Precautionary Area and the Humble Island Precautionary Area.

1 Precautionary Area encompasses a circular area of the radius denoted around the center point with the exception of the Sabine-Neches Waterway.

(c) Reporting points (Inbound).

Table 161.70(c)—Inbound

DesignatorGeographic nameGeographic descriptionLatitude/
longitude
Notes
1Sabine Bank Channel “SB” BuoySabine Bank Sea Buoy29°25.00 N.
93°40.00 W.
Sailing Plan Report
2Sabine Pass Buoys “29/30”Sabine Pass Buoys “29/30”29°35.90 N.
93°48.20 W.
3Port Arthur Canal Light “43”Keith Lake29°46.50 N.
93°56.47 W.
4North Forty GIWW Mile 279North Forty29°56.40 N.
93°52.10 W.
5FINA Highline Neches River Light “19”FINA Highline29°59.10 N.
93°54.30 W.
6Ready Reserve Fleet HighlineChannel at Cove Mid-Point30°00.80 N.
93°59.90 W.
7Sabine River MM 268268 Highline30°02.20 N.
93°44.30 W.

(d) Reporting points (Outbound).

Table 161.70(d)—Outbound

DesignatorGeographic nameGeographic descriptionLatitude/
longitude
Notes
1Sabine River Light “2”Black Bayou30°00.00 N.
93°46.25 W.
2Ready Reserve Fleet HighlineChannel at Cove Mid-Point30°00.80 N.
93°59.90 W.
3FINA Highline Neches River Light “19”FINA Highline29°59.09 N.
93°54.30 W.
4GIWW Mile 285The School House29°52.70 N.
93°55.55 W.
Zone Shift
5Port Arthur Canal Light “43”Keith Lake29°46.50 N.
93°56.47 W.
6Sabine Pass Buoys “29/30”Sabine Pass Buoys “29/30”29°35.90 N.
93°48.20 W.
7Sabine Bank Channel “SB” BuoySabine Bank Sea Buoy29°25.00 N.
93°40.00 W.
Final Report

(e) Reporting points (Eastbound).

Table 161.70(e)—Eastbound (ICW)

DesignatorGeographic nameGeographic descriptionLatitude/
longitude
Notes
1GIWW Mile 295ICW MM 29529°47.25 N.
94°01.10 W.
Sailing Plan Report
2North Forty GIWW Mile 279North Forty29°56.40 N.
93°52.10 W.
3Sabine River MM 268268 Highline30°02.20 N.
93°44.30 W.
4GIWW Mile 260260 Highline30°03.50 N.
93°37.50 W.
Final Report

(f) Reporting points (Westbound).

Table 161.70(f)—Westbound (ICW)

DesignatorGeographic nameGeographic descriptionLatitude/
longitude
Notes
1GIWW Mile 260260 Highline30°03.50 N.
93°37.50 W.
Sailing Plan Report
2Sabine River Light “2”Black Bayou30°00.03 N.
93°46.18 W.
3GIWW Mile 285The School House29°52.71 N.
93°55.55 W.
Zone Shift
4GIWW Mile 295ICW MM 29529°46.20 N.
94°02.60 W.
Final Report

(g) Reporting points (Offshore Safety Fairway).

Table 161.70(g)—Offshore Safety Fairway

DesignatorGeographic nameGeographic descriptionLatitude/
longitude
Notes
1Sabine Pass Safety Fairway—EastEast Dogleg29°35.00 N.
93°28.00 W.
2Sabine Pass Safety Fairway—WestWest Dogleg29°28.00 N.
93°58.00 W.

[78 FR 51671, Aug. 21, 2013, as amended by USCG-2018-0874, 84 FR 30881, June 28, 2019]

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